Activists from Animal Guardians and La Tortura No Es Cultura (Torture Is Not Culture) recorded the video in a desperate bid to get the barbaric pra
Activists from Animal Guardians and La Tortura No Es Cultura (Torture Is Not Culture) recorded the video in a desperate bid to get the barbaric practice banned. In their footage, the animals are dragged to a post so that metal braces can be fixed to their horns, then the braces are set aflame and the bulls are cut loose to run frantically around. As they run, they are harassed by spectators who grab them by their tails, toss sand and bottles at them, and kick them from the safety of specially designed cages.
Vets say the bulls are terrified by the presence of fire, which they are powerless to escape, and which leaves burning embers falling on their faces and bodies.
Jose Enrique Zaldívar, the president of Avatma – a veterinary group campaigning against events like these, said the “disorientation, anxiety, fear, and anguish” of the bulls was great, even without fire.
But once the flames take hold, he said, it only gets worse.
“Once the balls or torches that are placed on their horns are lit, the presence of fire causes the animal to be terrified,” he said.
“Since it is instinctively identified as another danger sign, it increases his stress and anguish much more.”
To make matters worse, activists fear that the bulls may have been illegally killed afterwards.
Now they are preparing an official complaint to the regional government of Castellón, who they say gave promotional and financial support to the event.
Spanish law is exacting about the circumstances under which a bull can be killed and activists say that these bulls could only be slaughtered afterwards at an abattoir.
Yet the video seems to suggest that, when the public spectacle is over and the bulls are led into a box, a knife traditionally used to deliver the coup de grâce is present.
Marta Esteban of Animal Guardians said: “When they use adult bulls like these which have never been in a bullfight, the regulations say they must be taken to the slaughterhouse alive.
“It is considered a ‘very serious infringement’ of the law not to do so.
“But then we saw that they introduced the typical knife that it is used in traditional bullfights to give the bull the coup de grace.”
Jose Cubells of La Tortura No Es Cultura said the alleged killing would constitute only one of several breaches they witnessed.
“We have observed numerous infractions, such as the throwing of sand, bottles, and clothing at the animals’ faces, the latter of which could have caught fire and burned the animals,” he said.
“We also observed kicking the animals from behind the bars and introducing the animals into the boxes with their horns still on fire, which could have set fire to the whole structure.
“We are preparing an official complaint for the Territorial Unit of Castellón.”
Among those witnessing the event are children.
In different parts of the video, a child is heard asking in Spanish “will they kill him?” and “why do they kill him?”
“Naturally, children do not understand how adults find the suffering of animals entertaining, much less that they kill them for the same reason,” said Marta.
“These shows distort the vision children have of animals, warping the innate empathy they feel towards them, and teaching them that violence, in this case, is fun – which can be very dangerous for a child’s education.”